Did you make any Lockdown Resolutions?… I made one… that I would make the time to meditate every morning (something I have been meaning to do for years but never prioritised)…and now that I have been doing it for the last 10 days of course I am wondering why I never did it before, especially as I was taught a really easy method (by a Wakeley Wellbeing guest Terrence the Teacher) which has been so helpful for the visual person I am…. It means I start my day with a clear head and a spring in my step…so useful with the way we are all having to work right now…
So this is what I have been doing…super easy…No mantras, NO gongs or sitting in the Lotus position…which, for the avoidance of doubt, I absolutely cannot do… my secret is that I actually meditate in bed before I get up …perhaps not exactly what you are meant to, but the one thing that Terrence teaches is that you should do whatever works for you …I like that, so you make it your own…
I start with the 7/11 Breathing Meditation:
When you are comfortable and in a safe space, close your eyes and start noticing your breath
Then, as you breathe in, count up to 7 … I visualise the minute hand on a clock face moving from 1 all the way through to 7 and as you breathe out, count up to 11…again I visualise that minute hand on the clock face (it helps keep me focussed on my breath somehow)
Do for a few breaths, or for a minute or 2 (For those short of breath, you can breathe in for 5, out for 9)
This breathing exercise is very powerful and known to almost immediately relax the parasympathetic nervous system ie a calmer, more relaxed you. It helps for panic attacks, anxiety and even sleep
I then go on to The Body Scan…I love to exercise in the morning and somehow this helps switch your brain into a state of total body awareness and I find it really wakes the body up physically…no caffeine needed
Make sure you are very comfortable, either lying down or sitting
Start by noticing your breath
Placing your attention on different parts of your body acts as a focus to anchor your attention in the present moment.
Start at your feet…your toes to your heels…your ankles, calves, shins, knees …all the way up until you reach your face…just be very aware of every part that you are “scanning”…take as much time as you want and simply be curious and open to the experience…
Accept things as they are, in the moment… if your mind wanders, that’s OK… notice the thought and then get back to where you left off on your body scan.
This is a perfect exercise to train your brain to become more Mindful…hopefully you will find that the more times you practice this the longer you “scan” for …(which is great)…I now end my Body Scan with a moment of gratitude for my healthy, functioning body (I know that may sound a little New Age…but it feels right, and I am old enough to know that if something feels right we should be listening to our instincts and just do it)… then I bounce out of bed into the day!
BTW I sometimes do the 7/11 in the evening after a stressful day and there are times I realise I have been breathing so shallowly that to start with I can only get to 4/8 and then slowly build it up to deeper breaths …it’s genius way of switching off and slowing your breathing … if you have never meditated but, like me, always thought it would be a good idea I urge you to give it a go and see how good it makes you feel…check out Terrence on Instagram for lovely guided meditations @terrencetheteacher …thank you for sharing your knowledge Terrence…I have finally discovered the benefits of Meditation.